Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Cooper, 15 March 1804

From Thomas Cooper

Northumberland       
March   1804 [before 15 Mch.]

Dear Sir

Your letter of Ap: 9: 1803 to Dr Priestley and the copy of yr Letter to Dr Rush with a copy of your Syllabus have been preserved by Dr Priestley; but Mr Priestley requests me to say that no public use shall be made of them, or any private Communication by which they can be known beyond the circle of your known and immediate friends: indeed even this is not in any way contemplated, nor do I expect they will be seen again by any one, unknown to you. I believe you are a far better Christian than nine tenths of the professors of Christianity and your veiew of the subject is highly honourable not only to your known talents, but to your attention to a subject so unfashionable among the pretenders to Knowledge in the present day. Dr Priestley has left a Ms somewhat on the plan you have suggested. I have not yet perused it, but I have no doubt of its containing like all his other works much interesting matter, and new views on the Subject. I fancy I am not like to agree with either of you.

I observe a publication by Mr Granger of the number and situation of the various post offices in the Union, but no price, no publisher, or place of publication is mentioned. It seems to me likely to be very interesting in a statistical view, and I should be very glad to see it. Could you oblige me with a Copy?

I very often feel much at a loss for the common documents on public affairs, which I ask for in vain among my friends in Congress, for what there may be “omnibus lippis et tonsoribus notum” may be very good […] very interesting Information here.

Mr Priestley desires to join with me in assurances of sincere attachment and respect.

Thomas Cooper

RC (DLC); partially dated; portion of text obscured by seal; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Mch. and so recorded in SJL.

In a letter of 24 Feb., TJ requested that Cooper ensure that his letter to Benjamin rush of 21 Apr. 1803 and the enclosed syllabus not fall into unfriendly hands.

left a ms: undoubtedly Priestley’s The Doctrines of Heathen Philosophy, Compared with Those of Revelation (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952-59, 5 vols. description ends No. 1528; Vol. 42:368-9).

Cooper likely saw notice of the publication of List of the Post-Offices in the United States, with the Counties in Which They Are Situated, and Their Distances from Washington City, which was completed in November 1803 and published in 1804 in Baltimore (Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819, New York, 1958-63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 7538).

omnibus lippis: Cooper paraphrases Horace, “omnibus et lippis notum et tonsoribus esse,” meaning, colloquially, known to everyone (Satires, 7.1.3).

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